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Foamology 102: Displaying a Custom Quilt Block with Soft Design Foam

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Yesterday we introduced you to Foamology™ by Fairfield. This is is a new craft product that gives you a quick way to mount fabric so it displays as custom wall décor. Choose from sets of large foam blocks, pattern cut blocks or even kits of smaller blocks you can assemble on the wall to form unique three-dimensional patterns. Yesterday we explained how you could use the foam tiles to feature large embroidery stitchouts. Today, we're showing how we created one of our favorite quilt blocks as a wrapped display - perfect sewing room art!

If you're a quilter, you probably have some beautiful squares you've completed that are just sitting in a drawer somewhere. Unless you get around to putting them into a quilt, they won't see the light of day. Or maybe you simply have a particular block design you love making. Foamology™ Design Foam is a fast and easy way to mount those beautiful squares on your wall where you can enjoy them.

The Foamology™ Design Foam tiles come in various shapes, sizes, and thicknesses, but what they all have in common is the stickybase™ self-adhesive backing. It makes applying fabric as easy as wrapping a present. And it's also sticky enough to mount right on the wall. Wouldn't it be beautiful to create an entire wall of your favorite blocks?! 

You have to pick up one of these big squares to believe how lightweight it actually is. That's why it can stay mounted to your wall with just the stickybase™ adhesion. It's also what makes accurately positioning your finished foam pieces so easy. You don't have to measure for the hanging hardware or poke multiple holes in the wall, trying to find the right height. Just peel and stick. 

To learn all the proper wrapping techniques, your best bet is to watch the Foamology™ videos. In just a few short minutes, they take you through the easy assembly for each of the Design Foam options.

Shop now

For our quilt block shown below, we used the 12" x 18" x 2" Soft Design Foam tile. This particular shape comes as a set of two tiles. 

You can find Foamology™ online at Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores. They have the tiles we used as well as a full selection of other fun options at great prices, as well as links to all the video tutorials. Right now when you shop on their website, you can choose from 33 different kinds of Foamology™ at great prices.

The quilt block

This pretty zig zag block is based on a Vintage Sofa Throw we originally did in Linen and Voile from Amy Butler's Alchemy Studio Collection for Rowan Fabrics. Our steps are summarized below. For additional information and photos, check out the full Sofa Throw tutorial

The quilt block features a standard zig zag pattern centered to fit the 12" x 18" foam tile; we then added additional triangles along both sides to create an extra pretty wrap. The thicker foam tiles stand off the wall 2", so we felt it was a nice touch to add this little "3-D" accent. 

Our fabric is from the Floressence collection from Art Gallery Fabrics. We used Notes of Mist and Meadow Aroma Cream, highlighting the combination with a solid Kona Cotton in Bahama Blue.

Fabric cuts

  1. From the fabric for the lighter zig zag (Meadow Aroma Cream in our sample), cut THIRTY-THREE 3" x 3" squares. Then, cut these squares into 66 half triangles. You will use 65 and have one leftover.
  2. From the fabric for the darker zig zag (Notes of Mist in our sample), cut TWENTY-SIX 3" x 3" squares. Then, cut these squares into 52 half triangles. You will use all 52.
  3. From the fabric for the solid triangles and the border strips (Bahama Blue in our sample), SEVEN 3" x 3" squares. Then, cut these squares into 14 half triangles. You will use 13 and have one leftover. In addition cut the following for the border panels:
    TWO 4½" x 23" strips
    TWO 3" x 23" strips
  4. For the squares, it's easiest to first cut 3" width-of-fabric (WOF) strips from each of the fabrics. We cut ONE WOF strip from the solid, TWO WOF strips from the darker fabric (Notes of Mist) and THREE WOF strips from the lighter fabric (Meadow Aroma Cream).
  5. Then sub-cut the strips into 3" x 3" squares.
      
    NOTE: If you are new to quilting, we have more tips on cutting in our Quilting Basics tutorial.

Assemble the block

  1. From the triangles, set aside FIVE lights, FOUR darks and ONE solid. 
  2. Pair up the remaining patterned half triangles into 48 sets of two - one light and one dark triangle in each set. 
  3. In addition, pair up the remaining lighter half triangles and the solid blue half triangles into 12 sets of two.
  4. Flip the dark triangle in each pair and align the inside edges to create a skinny diamond shape.
  5. Pin the triangles right sides together. The tips of the triangles will overlap by ¼". This is correct and insures that when seamed, the points will be perfectly matched.
  6. Stitch together, using a ¼" seam allowance.
  7. Repeat to create a total of 60 sewn pairs of triangles. We chain stitched our pairs.
  8. Place the 60 pairs on your work surface in ten rows of six pairs each, flipping so the pairs alternate (light, dark, light, dark, etc.).
  9. There are two rows (one at the beginning and one at the end) with the solid triangles and eight rows with the light/dark triangles.
  10. In each row, take the first two pairs of sewn triangles and place them right sides together. As above, you are aligning the inside edges, placing light against dark. Also as above, the points will overlap by ¼". Pin in place.
  11. Stitch together, using a ¼" seam allowance.
  12. Continue in the same manner to add the remaining four pairs. 
  13. When complete, find the 10 single triangles you set aside above. Add a single triangle to the end of each row, alternating the colors to match the light/dark pattern in the rest of the row. 
  14. When complete, you should have ten rows of 13 triangles.
  15. Place the rows on your work surface. Flip and shift the rows so the triangles are matched up light to light and dark to dark. For example, the intersecting light triangle points of row one should be at the exact center of the bottom of the matching light triangles of row two. On either end of each row, one half of a triangle with extend and will not line up. This is correct. This will trim off after the rows are all sewn together. 
  16. Align the rows, pin in place and stitch with a ¼" seam allowance. When all ten rows are stitched together, the finished block should measure 18½" wide.
  17. As mentioned above, we have summarized our steps since this in an inspiration project rather than a full tutorial. If you are new to quilting, take a look at the original Vintage Throw with Zig Zag Patchwork as well as our five-part Quilting Basics series, which starts here
  18. Find the two 4½" x 23" border strips, place one right sides together against each of the two solid triangle rows, forming the finished width of the block. 
  19. Stitch in place with a ¼" seam allowance. 
  20. Trim away the excess half triangles from the top and bottom so the top and bottom edges are straight.
  21. Add the top and bottom 3" x 23" border strips, stitching in place with a ¼" seam allowance. Trim as needed to square the finished block.
  22. After pressing our block, we added a layer of lightweight fusible interfacing for a crisp finish and to allow a bit of stability for the final wrap. 

Wrap the block

  1. Center the completed block on the foam tile, paying particular attention to keeping the "side triangles" straight as they wrap around each side. 
  2. Finish wrapping around to the stickybase™ back and mount to the wall. Remember to check out the Foamology™ videos for a quick step-by-step on wrapping techniques.

Shop now for Foamology™ online at Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores. They have a full selection and great prices, as well as links to all the video tutorials. 

Contributors

Project Design: Alicia Thommas  
Patchwork Creation: Kathy Andrews, What Sew Ever
Sample Creation: Liz Johnson

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Comments (6)

Donna Marie Rosato said:
Donna Marie Rosato's picture

I am very intrigued by these panels.

I recently covered a painters canvas with a t-shirt of my daughter's that she out grew but wanted to display. One of these panels would have worked very well.

How well do you think the panel would work with displaying cross stitch or hand embroidery?

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Donna Marie Rosato - Both cross stich and embroidery would work fine with these panels. As we mentioned in our previous article featuring embroidery, it is an option to reverse the wrap and use the stitcky surface as the front, If you samplers are heavy, this might be a good option. Below is the link for our article feature the panels with embroidery:

http://www.sew4home.com/projects/fabric-art-accents/foamology-101-how-tu...

Linda Morgan said:
Linda Morgan's picture

I have some fabric panels, both Orientals and Peacock I would like to display,but they are 22" bu 44'. Any suggestions? Do the foam panels come that large?

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Linda Morgan - there are not any panels that fit this particular size - they go up to 36" but in a narrower width. At such a large size, you may want to consider a traditional stretcher frame (a wooden frame they use for painter's canvases) - or constructing something similar on your own.

Katinka said:
Katinka's picture

That is a great idea for noisy room! Plan to do it :)

Sheri - Farfield Processing said:
Sheri - Farfield Processing's picture

Fairfield also carries Acoustic Foam which is a convoluted sound dampening foam that is also flame rtardant which is part of the Foamology product line.

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